If you don’t know, you need to know about Frank Viola. He’s a clear thinking, sensitive man who works to help others discover the truth about God. Here’s an interview I had with him recently:
Frank, I have spent quite a bit of time on your blog where I’ve learned a lot from what you’ve written. However, I’ve learned very little about you, please tell us about your background and how you got started as an author.
I started following the Lord at age 16, was part of many different denominations and movements, and began writing my thoughts down in my 20s as I was learning and growing. In 2005, a publisher found my writings and made me a book offer. I accepted and since then, to my surprise and encouragement, other publishers expressed interest. My blog has really helped Christians to find what I’ve written about.
It’s virtually unheard of that publishers find the writings of unknown authors and make them an offer to publish! Clearly God has this in mind for a long time. From your perspective what do you believe are the most important needs and issues Christians face today?
Discouragement, spiritual apathy, legalism on the one hand and libertinism (license to sin “because we’re under grace”) on the other. But the one that trumps them all is the horrible way that Christians treat one another online. I wrote about this recently here.
God’s Favorite Place on Earth is your newest book release. What is the story line and what motivated you to write this particular book?
As someone who has been following Jesus for over 30 years and who has been a part of numerous movements, denominations, churches, and parachurch organizations, I know the struggle against fear, doubt, discouragement, consumerism, spiritual burnout and spiritual complacency. I also know the pain of being misunderstood, the heartache of being unjustly criticized, and the agony of being rejected. But I’ve found a narrative in the Gospels that speaks to all of these challenges powerfully. So much so that it changed my life.
This is why I wrote God’s Favorite Place on Earth. It contains lessons that were born out of my own struggles, challenges, mistakes, and disappointments. God’s Favorite Place on Earth is different than anything I’ve ever written. It’s a work of biblical narrative that combines story with non-fiction. It’s a fast and easy read.
The premise of the book is simple and 100% Biblical: when Jesus was on the earth, He was rejected everywhere He went, from Bethlehem, to Nazareth, to Jerusalem. The only exception was the little village of Bethany. The curtain opens with Lazarus, who is now ready to die, telling the incomparable story of Jesus’ interactions with him, Martha, and Mary. God’s Favorite Place on Earth blends drama, devotion, theology, biblical narrative, and first-century history. Within each narrative, the common struggles that we Christians face are addressed and answered.
So if you enjoy escaping into an engaging story and reading for entertainment, then this book is for you. But if you enjoy thoughtful books packed with theological insights, this book is for you too. It combines both elements under one cover. Your readers can get a free sampler here.
As you expressed, God’s Favorite Place on Earth is a blend of dramatization, unlike your other books. What was your reason for writing this way and how is the book structured?
People like stories. This book seeks to bring the Gospels alive by presenting it in story-form as if you are there. So far, the responses have been amazing. So this approach seemed to work very well.
What has been the reaction to this book so far?
Lots of grown men said it made them cry. Women seem to love it too since it puts Mary and Martha in a brand new light. It was also endorsed by John Ortberg, Jack Taylor, Tricia Goyer, Mary DeMuth, Jon Acuff, and 42 other well known authors.
Readers can see their reviews of God’s Favorite Place on Earth at
Learn about the other books he’s written on his book page.
Disclaimer: While Pamela Christian Ministries seeks to present compelling content from reputable contributors, we make it known that the views expressed in all guest blogs do not necessarily reflect the views, policies and/or opinions of Pamela Christian Ministries, its owners, management, staff or sponsors. Pamela Christian Ministries has no professional affiliation with the Guest/organization identified here, their business, products, service, contests or claims.
The Guest and/or their business/organization assume all responsibility for the representations made in this post.